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A Must-haves for a Poker Player

Most of Poker players are so well off that they can afford to play 'for fun', or of psychopathic gamblers who, perhaps unconsciously, are playing to lose.

Courage. What does courage, in a Poker game mean? It means the refusal to abandon what one believes to be sound principles of play because the luck happens to be running against them.

If your financial resources are so limited that a run of bad luck compels you to play a restricted or a timid game, you shouldn't be in that particular game at all. Quit before you have lost everything.

Concentration. Nobody knows of any card game which demands concentration to the same extent as Poker.

Even when you are not playing for a pot, you should be taking note of what other players are doing; otherwise you may miss some inference which you can turn to advantage.

On the other hand, everyone's capacity for concentration is limited; in the course of a long session it may be more profitable to relax occasionally (when one is not playing) than to tire oneself by observing minutely every hand.

But loss of concentration during even one deal in which you yourself are participating may make all the difference between getting up a winner and getting up a loser. Moreover, concentration and observation go hand in hand. The former quality allows you to exploit the latter to the fullest.

How often does one hear: 'I didn't notice how many cards you drew.' Such lapses may, in the course of a session cost a poor player hundreds of chips.

Mathematical knowledge. This is truly important. No one who is not interested in mathematics need bother about many of the speculations in a Poker game, but you must know what the rough-and-ready odds against you are, for different situations.

Also, you must be capable of calculating whether in any given situation, the pot is offering you longer odds, for only such cases are you justified in playing.

And you should get out while the going is good from any pot in which odds which began by being promising have, as the betting proceeds, become adverse.

Patience. Poker can be a very dull game, and if you are not prepared to endure its dullness, don't expect to be a consistent winner.

In Ante and Straddle games, where five players out of seven need risk nothing at all, you must be prepared to thrown in hand after hand; the same is true of Jackpots and also of Misère Pots-- for in Misère Pots, you should hardly ever buy more than one card.

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